UPDATE FROM THE "I TOLD YOU SO" CATEGORY. My amateur weatherman friend Joe Wierzbicki also gets bragging rights - September 1, 2008
Even as Gustav made landfall it was not only not a Category 5 hurricane as forecasters had thought might happen at one time. Nor a Category 4 which the media had hyped would be the true strength of the storm. It was not even a Category 3 hurricane as they had revised their position (while hoping it would reintensify back into a Category 4).
Gustav was a strong Category 2 but forecasters admit that even this was probably jealous.
Just like the media, they started to believe their own hype and exaggerated the windspeeds a bit. Could still be a very bad storm, but the forecasters fed the misninformation angle themselves. Shame on them.
August 31, 2008
I'm not a meterologist, although I occasionally play one on the radio. But I do have friends who are, friends who want to be, and friends who are pilots.
So, based on their collective judgement, I'm going out on a limb and predict that Hurricane Gustav is going to miss New Orleans, ploughing a westerly path, with winds no higher than 70 mph.
From Joe Wierzbicki, also known as Weatherman Wierzbicki around Move America Forward Headquarters - the very latest.
According to the latest update from the National Weather Service, Gustav has stopped it's weakening sequence (it rapidly weakened after interacting with the island nation of Cuba) and may begin on a brief stage of re-intensification.
Before it hit Cuba, and thus weakened, they had predicted it could have winds of 130-140 knots. Now their prediction is for 110 knots at time of impact. For comparison purposes, Katrina hit land with windspeeds of 140 mph. Right now Gustav has winds at about 115 mph.
But, the key issue here is that they've been wrong the entire time about Gustav. Forecasters were totally caught off guard when it went from a moderate Tropical Storm to a Category 4 hurricane in less than 24 hours. Then they thought it would hold up in strength as it crossed Cuba and intensify strongly in the southern Gulf of Mexico (where the water is deep and warm), and then begin to weaken as it approached the Northern Gulf of Mexico and the coastline (where the water is shallower and not quite as warm). I
nstead Gustav weakend over Cuba, weakened more over the southern Gulf, and now may be strengthening over the northern Gulf.